File photo/Paige Lampson

The Liberty Ranch Hawks, pictured last year against Bradshaw Christian, will be among the SJS teams starting a modified prep schedule this winter.

During a typical prep football season in Galt, battling the heat at the start of the season has been a given.

With the modified schedule this season, frost may be more likely on the fields at both Liberty Ranch and Galt high schools, as both programs gear up for their first football season that will start in the winter instead of August.

Teams are doing what they need to make their seasons happen, however, and they are jumping on the chance to provide a sports season for their students.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t cancelled. As much as us coaches want to play football, it’s about the kids and their opportunity to shine. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel here and it’s giving us something to look forward to. It’s kind of weird when everything’s routine; there’s something exciting about the fact that we’re starting when it’s cold out,” said Warrior football coach Tim Cobleigh.

The Warriors’ first varsity football game is scheduled for Jan. 8 on the road against Woodland Christian. League play begins Feb. 19 for football with Liberty Ranch traveling to Rosemont and Union Mine taking on Galt at Warrior Stadium.

According to the modified schedule produced by the California Interscholastic Federation, teams’ first scrimmages would be on New Year’s Eve. The team is planning to scrimmage against Rio Americano and Cosumnes Oaks that morning and after the CIF released its schedule, Cobleigh set forth in contacting all of the schools on his preseason schedule to confirm or adjust dates.

“It’s definitely going to be a busy spring for me because of wrestling,” said Cobleigh, who also coaches the wrestling team. “I know that the admin and everybody’s just excited there’s an opportunity. It’s been a crazy year and it’s something to feel good about.”

At Liberty Ranch, cross-country could benefit from the seasonal schedule change in more ways than one, noted head coach Brian Robinson.

“I think times are going to go down because we’re running in the winter. The kids were actually coming along really well but all of a sudden they put the brakes on us. Hopefully, they’re running on their own,” Robinson said of the Hawks. “I think it’s going to change some of the times.”

The first league games for girls volleyball will take place Jan. 21, with Galt taking on Union Mine and Liberty Ranch hosting Rosemont, while cross-country begins Jan. 27 for Liberty Ranch